Monday, January 17, 2011

Who plans gardens now?

By Michelle

People who tend to be better at gardening than me. Truly, though, with a goal of putting to shame last year's epic (seriously - 30 plants) tomato harvest I'm only competing against myself. Shouldn't be all that hard to do, especially if I get over my slovenly ways and stake the tomatoes properly.

But tomatoes are boring. Everyone grows them. I want to grow things that look cool and/or I can eat. Since I've been gardening for 3 years now, I have at least some idea of my capabilities and access to the various components that make a mildly successful garden. I've already laid in the foundation for gardening which I've built on each year. And for the first time ever I'm actually on schedule with the purchase of seeds.

There's a great little shop called Botanical Interests which has lovely organic, heirloom and conventional seeds for all varieties of vegetables, herbs, flowers and other miscellaneous growable things. For my garden this year I'm going to be experimenting with the following:

Forget-Me-Not Victoria Blue Seed
Beet Detroit Dark Red Seed
Bean Pole Blue Lake Organic Seed
Arugula Rocket Salad Seed
Bok Choy White Stem Seed
Swiss Chard Bright Lights Blend Seed

Most of these will be new to the scene. In addition I will have some returning guests that have done me good in years past:

Strawberry Popcorn (real live seeds saved by me!)
Thai Basil
Genovese Basil
Greek Oregano (will necessitate pulling out old raggedy shrub) Tomatoes of very many shapes, varieties, sizes and uses

The really great thing about all this gardening is that it is so, so low investment. Seed packets are cheap - less than $4 a pop for the most part, and at least with veggies and herbs you get a monetary return on investment by not having to buy as much of it out in the world.

This is all beside the point that a particular satisfaction is earned by working in the dirt. It's a primal exercise that is unlike other activities. Though there are worms and slugs and mud, in the end a Wii garden game would not suffice. Embarrassing to admit, but I do feel a kind of link to by forbears who probably did these things too. Though likely they would have given anything to just buy this stuff and have more time to put their feet up, playing garden Wii.

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